Quietly now a mouse in the garden
that has come to mourn with me
or bite at every insect twisting
in this heat as you lie close & uncaring
in the army of the common housefly.
Let it be known that in death
you harrowed in love & in so doing
traded your ears for blackened ones,
your crown the shade of a new moon.
Let this spell be known as the fortune
of a missing tortoise, brutal limbs
& wounds of multiples. Then, to soften
alongside the watermelon rinds
on this blighted day, your body
presently absent including the mouse
I have startled into darkness. Who will
help me love the castor bean tree now?
Which of these plants will speak for you?
Ignore me while I weave between rows,
swatting at the light I have chased into
the corner of your makeshift shed still full
of your fortune, the abundant secret
of mouse droppings. Meanwhile, stay
dressed—help me be decent. Come away
from dreams, far from streets—quick,
arise in one piece! There is shade.
Even the sun could not spoil you.
after Yvan Goll
In the absent oils of your eyes two brown ores
resting leisurely on the view of your children.
You uncoil casually. My hand slipping
to the west and what was felled fills me
until I fall forward injuring your already dead arm.
I am so sorry. Our wills in a twist. Electric.
Some pulse between the gurney and the distant coffin.
My camera shutter clicking wildly around my neck.
Back home tus rab hlau searches for your hands.
The soil to harden. Rapture on the way. Onions
sprouting passionately as neglected gardens do.
The seven prisms of my blood bursting through my ears.
Your living children still living. Your garden goddess
drying the last goods in her shrine. With spring-like
precision the sun weeps until I boil. My head cracked
in four places. The ribbed earth catching fatal drops
of your blood or mine. You beseech me but in my time
I’ve slept away the sun. The underside of distance.
But I behold you now in this cool church and for a ransom.
I photograph you again and again. Your form crystalizing.
Your parted mouth a new annex to the ancestral house.
Your bones at the table. O how fair the jaundiced skies.
You get up to close that clear brittle door.